April 9, 2018

Pearce, Lujan Grisham lead the way in fundraising battle

Voters got to see the latest campaign finance numbers from candidates running for statewide and legislative offices Monday.

Michelle Lujan Grisham and Steve Pearce, both U.S. Representatives running for governor, led the way among candidates reporting fundraising numbers Tuesday.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, reported raising $1.4 million over the last six months, while Pearce, a Republican, raised $1.6 million. Nearly half of the money Pearce raised in the period came from a transfer of money from his federal campaign accounts after the Republican congressman won a legal battle in federal court.

Former media executive Jeff Apodaca raised $254,000, while State Sen. Cervantes raised $1.05 million. But for the Las Cruces legislator, $1 million of that fundraising haul came from loans. That brings his total amount he loaned his campaign since entering the race to $1.4 million. Apodaca has $450,000 in campaign debt from his own previous loans to his campaign.

Campaign finance numbers were due for all activity between Oct. 3, 2017 and April 2, 2018.

At the end of the campaign finance period, Pearce had $2.1 million cash on hand, compared to Lujan Grisham’s $1.8 million. This is largely because Lujan Grisham’s campaign spent nearly $750,000 more in that time period.

Cervantes has $1.4 million cash on hand after spending $372,000 in the period. Apodaca spent nearly $630,000. He has just under $325,000 cash on hand.

Other races

In the race for Attorney General, incumbent Democrat Hector Balderas far outpaced his Republican opponent, Michael Hendricks. Balderas raised $160,000 and had over $890,000 cash on hand. Hendricks reported raising just over $115,500, aided by $50,000 in loans to his campaign. He has $43,800 cash on hand.

For Secretary of State, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver finished the period with nearly $133,000 cash on hand after raising $122,857 in the period. Toulouse Oliver is seeking a full term after winning in 2016. Her Republican opponent, JoHanna Cox, raised $1,245 and spent no money.

Republican incumbent State Auditor Wayne Johnson raised just under $43,000 and finished with $36,750 cash on hand. Democratic State Rep. Bill McCamley raised a total of $111,000 for his State Auditor campaign, including $45,000 in loans from himself to his campaign. McCamley finished with $125,000 cash on hand. Brian Colón raised over $75,000 and had just under $75,00 cash on hand.

Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Johnson, a former Bernalillo County Commissioner, to the position after the previous Auditor, Democrat Tim Keller, won the election for mayor of Albuquerque and left the position.

Another open race is that for Commissioner of Public Lands. Incumbent Aubrey Dunn opted not to run for a second term and, after changing his party affiliation to Libertarian, instead chose to run for U.S. Senate.

The lone Republican in the race is Public Regulation Commissioner Pat Lyons. Lyons raised just under $65,000 and has $71,800 cash on hand. Three Democrats are vying for the position. Garrett VeneKlasen led the way with a haul of $145,000, including $10,000 in loans from the candidate to his campaign, and finished with $82,500 cash on hand. State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard raised nearly $56,000 and finished with almost $30,000 cash on hand. State Sen. George Munoz did not file a report by 5:00 p.m.


The Libertarian Party candidates for statewide positions didn’t raise much money. Blair Dunn, running for Attorney General, raised $10,400 from a single donor. Three other Libertarian Party candidates reported not raising or spending any money, while Secretary of State candidate Sandra Jeff raised $50, but spent $42.50 in the same time period and now has $7.50 cash on hand.

The deadline for federal candidates to file campaign finance reports is April 15. Those reports will be for the first three months of 2018.